Anxious about getting hearing aids

Hello,

I guess I’m just wanting to vent and possibly get some reassurance.

My first tests in 2016 showed moderate to severe hearing loss. I didn’t follow the audiologist’s advice to get hearing aids for several reasons, including cost, and general anxiety. I just retested last month and my hearing has deteriorated further, so I went in to get fitted for hearing aids which will arrive first week of March.

  • What if they are uncomfortable? I can’t tolerate ear buds or headphones. Pressure and pain builds up and I have to take them out. I got the kind with the little wire rather than the one that molds into your ear.

  • Will they be too loud? Although it doesn’t make sense to me, the audiologist told me that I’m not unusual in that I have hearing loss but hate noise. I love silence. A friend recently bought me a TV after 12 years of not having or wanting one, but I don’t really use it.

  • Will I lose or break them?

I’m having buyer’s remorse already. But my friends and family are all thrilled that I’m getting them. Am I just being ridiculous?

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Completely normal. Don’t sweat it (other than the cost). You’re not being ridiculous.

I don’t like the fully plugged type earbuds (so-called noise-cancelling) either. External headphones no problem. The little earbuds that just kinda rest in that ear area don’t give me any discomfort but then they’re kinda useless anyway.
So the thing I insert has holes to avoid the pressure variations.

They will seem too loud at the beginning as suddenly you’ll be hearing all this cacophony of normal life. But they can also have a setting to gradually add more volume to slowly get up to the prescription level. Or as Costco does…all in. Just turn the volume down.
I suspect it’s common to hearing impaired people to find sharp noises unsettling. I always jump. I think it’s called hyperacussis.

Losing and breaking them is up to your own level of care for these expensive doodads.

If your friends and family are happy for you, they’re kinda happy for themselves as maybe you’ll be back in the present and they’ve in a way missed you all this time. Are you frequently asking for things to be repeated? Are they frequently looking at you for a response as you tune out what’s going on because you can’t make it all out?

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Thanks for this. Yes, I constantly ask people to repeat. I’m a teacher, and I usually recruit my louder students to help me when i can’t hear the soft spoken ones. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

I have moderate to severe hearing loss as well, but I don’t think you’re being ridiculous at all. It takes time to perceive the benefit you get from solving your hearing loss. Situations you were not able to understand will become easier with time. Hearing other people will become easier with time. Many things will become easier with time, you just need to be open to it.

If your hearing aid mold / dome or whatever they pick for you is uncomfortable, this is normal. When I got my first hearing aids over 17 years ago, they were extremely uncomfortable. I had to go in for remolds every two years because I was still growing. Seeing as you have the RITE/RIC (Receiver In The Ear / Receiver In Canal), you may feel a strange sensation when you talk. It may feel like your ears are extremely plugged, and they may feel itchy, but these are things you can discuss with your audiologist. They may be able to make a better recommendation than I can on how to overcome the itchiness / soreness / pain.

As for hearing aids being too loud… When you first get your hearing aids, they definitely will feel like they are loud. You need to consider that your brain is suddenly being bombarded with sounds you may have forgotten about, like the clock ticking, the vent in the room blowing cold air into it, someone scratching their throat, a pen dropping on a table, someone scribbling on paper, the click of a mouse. Very quiet sounds will become more prominent. That being said, not everyone will be at their full prescription at their first fitting. You may be at the very low end where over several appointments, your audiologist will work with you to bring you up to your full prescription. That’s how it was for me when I was first fitted. When I changed hearing aids, I asked to have my prescription lowered a bit because I was overprocessing information in my head. It gets better over time, I promise.

Losing or breaking them is everyone’s worst fear. It does happen, it can happen, you will need to ask your audiologist about the coverage on your hearing aids, and what steps can be taken if they are lost or broken.

I would also highly, HIGHLY recommend you check out Dr Cliff, AuD’s YouTube Channel where he talks about the exact same concerns you are talking about.

Please don’t feel anxious. It’s great that you’re trying to take the leap, and it is absolutely understandable why you’d be apprehensive in making the decision to get hearing aids. I can’t make any promises at all, but the first step is always the hardest. What matters the most is that you communicate with your audiologist and work on a treatment plan that addresses all of your needs.

Best of luck to you!

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I will check out Dr. Cliff. Thank you.

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Stick with it. This will be life-changing for you. In a good way.

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Thanks. They will be here on March 2. I’ll be back then. :slight_smile:

Regarding ear comfort, I have narrow ear canals and tried several brands and domes (earpieces) before finding comfortable ones. And of course it takes some time wearing them to get used to the feeling.

So if they aren’t comfortable, don’t give up. It may take some experimentation and time to adapt, but after a while you won’t feel them at all.

I enjoy turning off my hearing aids when I don’t want to listen to certain people! The app I use allows me to do mthat.

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Just remember: “The squeaking wheel gets the grease”. If you have a problem, tell your provider. They should be able to resolve or at least lessen the problem. Your ultimate satisfaction rests on your communication with your provider and your provider’s skill, chose your provider well.

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Got my hearing aids this morning! I think they are going to be great. First thing that surprised me was the amplification of my own voice but it stopped being weird pretty quickly. I am hearing conversations between other people far away but my audiologist said my brain will filter that out eventually.

My mouse makes a clicking noise! My keys clack on my laptop! My dog’s nails make noise when she walks on the hard floor! Who knew?

I do a lot of driving and love to listen to audiobooks which has been getting more and more difficult. Now I’m connected to my iPhone with bluetooth and the books and phone calls are right in my head!

Definitely money well spent. I’m so relieved. :slight_smile:

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Congratulations.
You are having fun with hearing things you haven’t heard in a while.
Along with those things speech understanding will improve.
Have you heard birds yet and the kitchen appliances?

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Yes, I definitely hear the birds. It’s wonderful.

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It was nice to read your first post and then scroll down and read this next one. :slight_smile:

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Welcome to the world of hearing. It can be a life changer.

Ditto. If you can afford it, the trick is a good and patient audiologist. I tried a few days without my hearing aids. I have enough residual hearing to get by in regular life. Of course, I kept asking people to repeat themselves and there’s no way of knowing how much I missed. Well-fitted hearing aids make all the difference in being fully present. --Steve

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